Above: Still from Elans by Zlatko Cosic
Each year, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, in partnership with Cinema St. Louis, holds a local film competition. St. Louis area filmmakers are invited to submit short films that reflect themes found in the Pulitzer’s exhibitions. The contest winners receive a cash prize and have their films projected on the walls of the Pulitzer building during its annual Film Night at the Pulitzer. We are happy to announce a winner of this year’s film contest: Congratulations, Zlatko Cosic!
Read a short interview with Zlatko below:
The Pulitzer: Zlatko, how did you get started in filmmaking?
Zlatko Cosic: I started with filmmaking when I moved from Bosnia to Belgrade and became a member of the Academic Film Center. After surviving the war in Yugoslavia, I had many things to tell. I found filmmaking to be a powerful communication tool to share my experiences and establish dialogue with others.
P: What appealed to you about the Pulitzer’s film competition?
ZC: I’ve had my work screened at the Pulitzer as part of previous film competitions. Most often the artwork at the Pulitzer inspires me to be part the film projects. I start thinking about the theme of the exhibition and soon I find myself creating. My video Elans reflects my experience of the current exhibit and the themes of epiphany and domestic spaces. The discovery of my video characters, “elans,” was the starting point in creating this particular work.
P: What aspect of this film are you most proud of?
ZC: With my new work Elans, I was extremely surprised by the image I got with my camera. It looked nothing like what I would expect from capturing light reflections on water. It was an epiphany to me that motivated further creation. I gave the reflections extra spark through luma and color adjustments and let them interact inside a new space, full of new energy, coming in and out from the screen.
P: What is the meaning of your film’s title, Elans?
ZC: The title Elans is derived from the word “elan” from my native Slavic language (meaning energy, strength, desire to evolve and live) and Henri Bergson’s élan vital (impulse of life, vital force, humanity’s natural creative impulse). I created new organisms and gave them life. These new characters needed a name and with some word play I called the video and my characters “elans.” Since there is no plural for “elan” in English, and “elans” sounded even more French (it has to be good), it seemed to be the perfect name for my new characters and therefore video.
P: How do you see the film fitting with the themes of the exhibition In the Still Epiphany?
ZC: My video fits with the themes of the exhibition, In the Still Epiphany, because the simple characters from my video are constantly surprising and energetic but still calming and meditative. The elans are taken from an ordinary space and moved inside a new environment to interact and evolve. Now they will be dancing on the Pulitzer’s walls and the sound of the new space will contribute to the visuals.
Zlatko’s short silent film, Elans, will be projected at the Pulitzer tonight, Sept. 21, alongside Ordet, a feature length film chosen by Gedi Sibony. The event begins at 6:30 pm. We hope to see you there!